In 1993 I took my first trip to London. I knew I wanted to visit the Liberty store and look at the beautiful Liberty prints. Pre-internet traveling days were full of surprises, good and bad, and this surprise was wonderful. I stayed in the store for six hours. My husband was in a meeting and I opted out of the spouses’ tours offered that day.
The store captivated me from the moment I entered. I perused the Liberty fabric gifts on the first floor and somewhere along the way watched a bride being fitted in her gown. When I entered the mezzanine and saw the quilts hanging over the balconies on the 3rd and 4th floors I almost started to cry because I felt I had finally arrived at the place I was meant to be. I had never quilted before in my life but everything just felt right.
While others were taking photos of Buckingham Palace I was taking pictures of fabric, quilts and enchanting displays created throughout the store. It was sheer heaven.
I returned to London a year later and set aside an entire day to spend at Liberty. I bought gifts in Liberty prints, Liberty cotton lawn to smock dresses for my daughters and then I bought this silk.
I still have it.
A Japanese designer named Ciao, who occupied floor space at the store saw me fondling this beautiful French silk. Before I knew it, he had sketched a drawing of me in a dress made of the fabric. It was an easy sell for Ciao. I could have bought a dress at Neiman Marcus for the price of this silk, and I’ve been afraid to touch it for 17 years. He gave me the sketch.
This year, hopefully this fall, I plan to sew my silk. My husband and I are going to Palm Springs at the end of the month to the same meeting held in London many years ago. I’d like to make something for one of the events from the fabric, and am thinking about the ruffled top I just made. I wish Ciao was here…..